Museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and other cultural outlets can now reopen on 29 June as part of the revised Phase 3 opening of the country. 

Mass gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors.  If the presence of the virus remains low, this will rise to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors in Phase 4.

However it is likely that individual venues will make decisions on reopening based on social distancing guidelines.

The Expert Advisory Group to the Arts Council, which published a report on the future of the sector yesterday morning said that if social distancing is maintained, venues could see their seating  reduced to 15% of normal capacity.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One, Fergal Hynes of Druid Theatre said the sector gave a "cautious welcome" to the latest announcement and would now take time to study it in detail. 

He said the news was not a "light switch" moment for the industry because social distancing makes economic viability very difficult but he said any return to normality will be welcomed.

He said the freelance community is the backbone of the artistic industry and the sooner the sector can get back to normal the better, to support the industry.

Mr Hynes said it is extremely important that unemployment and other supports for the sector continue.

He said theatre for the rest of 2020 will not look like it did in years gone by, but he said the creative industries never been found wanting for creative solutions and the sector will work to see magic return in a safe manner for audiences to enjoy.

On Monday, the Government announced funding of €25 million - €20m of which was directed at the Arts Council, to help the arts industry survive Covid-19.

That funding was widely welcomed across the sector. 

The Expert Advisory Group has also recommended the maintenance of wage supports, a review of taxation practice, a capital funding scheme for arts buildings and fair remuneration for artists if they are to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

It also recommended a stability fund of €30m for 2021.